Guyanese authorities have every confidence that the requisite technology and regulatory systems are in place to ensure effective oil spill response offshore. Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday expounded on the extent to which the administration has boosted the nation’s oil spill capabilities while noting that further help is underway from India.
At a press conference held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), Dr. Jagdeo said government has armed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with access to the latest technology to do satellite monitoring of offshore oil and gas operations. He said the EPA is poised for further strengthening of its oil spill capabilities with experts from India. He said those consultants will be here in a few months.
The official also noted the insurance provisions in place to cover an unmitigated oil spill. He alluded that there is not only a US$600M per occurrence coverage in place but that discussions are ongoing for a US$2B parent guarantee for the Stabroek Block.
He also reminded that it was the PPP/C Government that revolutionized the environmental permits for the oil sector. He said these documents are now armed with stringent provisions on the discharge of produced water consistent with international standards, cradle to grave waste management, and zero flaring after the commissioning period for vessels.
The Vice President said, “We have higher standards than many. We have a no flaring policy beyond the commissioning period or else there is a fine. Very few countries have that…In the Yellowtail permit, we also got ExxonMobil to agree to a capping stack. They must have one in country and maintain a subscription for another…”
With the foregoing measures in place, the Vice President said Guyana is clearly in a better position that most in the region for oil spill response. He assured that fortifying efforts will remain an ongoing process.